About Little Islands
Little Islands is a driving force in providing support for dementia care. Our senior staff are highly experienced in both the delivery of dementia care and the provision of specialist equipment and hi-tech sensory rooms.
The idea of Little Islands began when we were asked to create a Sensory Room designed specifically to stimulate communication for people living with dementia.
We looked around to see what Sensory equipment and designs were available and it soon became apparent that the only options currently being offered were Snoezelen type fibre optics, bubble tubes etc., which are stimulating in their own way but very abstract and possibly confusing as well. The other option was Reminiscence rooms which are very useful if used as part of planned activities but without those activities tend to become dust gatherers as they are not stimulating in their own right.
So we decided that by using sound, colours and smells, combined with memorable music and images, we could stimulate multiple senses in a focused manner and hopefully make a connection with the happy memories of the people involved. This has worked better than we could have hoped for, with care home residents singing, dancing and reminiscing, as well as staff and relatives getting involved because it’s an exciting, fun environment.
Fast-forward a few years and our passion for providing environments and products that will enrich the lives of people living with dementia is still as strong as ever. We are continually developing new environments using the same concepts and it’s as exciting for us working on them as it is for the people using them! In addition to creating unique environments, we are also concentrating on developing portable products that can be used in person-centred care. The Jolly Trolley, new for 2018, is a traditional-looking cart which creates festivity in any care home and encourages residents to engage in social activities and reminiscence. As it is battery operated and fully mobile, it allows you to bring fun and fulfilment to the resident. Our innovative products aim to stimulate memories and the senses in a focused manner, creating ‘little islands’ of calm and contentment in a potentially scary and chaotic world.
Communication is an essential part of having quality of life. Talking, and having something to talk about, reduces feelings of isolation, enhances relationships and feelings of social inclusion.
“Everyone needs a sense of purpose and to enjoy themselves. Encouraging someone living with Dementia to do something creative, some gentle exercise, or take part in an activity helps them realise their potential, which improves their self-esteem and reduces loneliness”
This is a statement we couldn’t agree with more. Engaging with residents with dementia is essential, and trying to reach them when they appear closed off from the world can seem impossible at times. However, we can provide the tools to help you connect with even the most hard to reach people. From products that promote activities to bespoke interactive environments; we will work closely with you to ensure your environment is not only dementia-friendly, but comfortable and beautifully crafted. Everything we do is under-pinned by research making sure that our products and services really can make a difference to a person’s quality of life. Our aim is to create stimulating products and environments that can help to re-build those bridges of communication.
Let us help to create your own Little Islands.
L&M healthcare won 'Art Installation of the year' at the Design in Mental Health Awards 2018 for our Seaside Living Wall at Whittle Hall in Warrington. It was designed, hand made and installed by Little Islands. Not only is our wall beautiful to look at, it is used to stimulate fond memories of the seaside through, sound, sight, smell and touch. Residents, staff and visitors alike absolutely love it. No one can walk past it without touching it and everyone who sees it can’t help smiling.
We kind of knew from the first conversation that we was going to get something very special and, we did!
- The legacy of the work Little Islands have done for Willowbrook is to raise the quality of the environment and create resources that make a difference to the quality of life we can bring to the clients each day and, a sense of value for the staff to work in an environment that is unique and positive.Their imagination and creativity was inspiring and the level of details in their craftsmanship was outstanding.
Due to the Jolly Trolley being mobile we have been able to take it to the residents rather than them having to come to us. As soon as we get the music going (especially the rock and roll era) and the residents hear it, they come to check out what is happening. The smile on their faces when they are able to recognise a song is magical – the care staff have really been able to ‘tune in’ to residents body language etc and this has enabled our residents to dance in a way some of them haven’t done for a long time… We have found that we have been able to meet one of our own core values better than ever before .. ‘Inclusion’…. To be able to include someone either on a 1-1 basis or in a group scenario is amazing especially when they have never been interested that much in partaking before. The fact that we can upload what is relevant to the specific Individual is so meaningful for that person and I can assure you we have shed some tears being able to be part of that residents memory journey. It has been an amazing addition to our care home – from staff and residents – thank you. The main thing for us is having been able to use it on a 1-1 basis due to social distancing and the restrictions that has imposed upon it. Being able to take the Trolley to a bedroom and have quality time with that person has been invaluable. We have also been able to use the trolley in a meaningful way for residents who are at the later stages of life and have ensured their favorite things have been available in the background in their bedroom. The Jolly Trolley has been a great support as it has allowed us to contribute to residents wellbeing on a more personal basis due to the lockdown restrictions. We wish you all the very best with the Alzheimer’s Society ‘Dementia Hero Award for Innovation’ , I know you are a worthy candidate with an amazing chance of winning – The innovation of the Jolly Trolley has certainly become our ‘hero’ in our care home.
We were so pleased with our first Jolly Trolley purchase that we bought three more! Now all homes in our group have them. They make such a difference to our residents; they encourage reminiscence, movement and participation, bring a lot of fun and laughter, and can form the basis of a lot of activity planning. Being mobile makes them so versatile, we can use them anywhere inside or out.
The reminiscence and music functions have been very beneficial for all our residents, but we have found particularly those with dementia and also our new residents whom upon arrival can feel quite alone and isolated. One new gentleman was very reluctant to engage or socialise with anyone when he first arrived but we soon had him enjoying a sing-along on the microphone belting out Queen and feeling like part of our little community. We would definitely recommend Little Islands and their fantastic Jolly Trolley to anyone looking to enrich the lives of their residents.
The Jolly Trolley is quite simply the best money we have ever spent on resident enrichment! Well-designed, beautifully made and simple to use, we particularly like the fact that you can change the theme to suit the occasion and because it is fully mobile we can use it in any part of the home, whether that is an individual’s room for some quiet reminiscence and music or one of the communal areas where we have played bingo, held head scratching quizzes, had afternoon tea parties and sing-alongs...
The trolley has brought our staff and residents together as it has made it easier for staff and residents to interact on a social level. This year’s Christmas party was by far the best we have had yet, senior management, staff and residents all enjoying a good old knees up with karaoke, dancing and lots of laughter - The best medicine of all!
The Jolly Trolley is an absolute breath of fresh air
We LOVE the Jolly Trolley! It’s a fantastic idea which has had a massive benefit to all our residents and our staff too. The physical, mental and emotional wellbeing of our residents are all being really well catered for. It’s been so easy to encourage everyone to socialise and to get everyone singing along and up on their feet dancing. It is being used every day for all sorts of activities from themed dances, karaoke sessions and exercise classes.
The residents with dementia have particularly benefited from the reminiscence programmes and their favourite music. We have found it has really calmed down and relaxed upset residents and given them their sense of wellbeing back. It’s also been a great ice breaker for new residents too and helped them to socialise more easily and integrate into the home community more quickly. The staff too are really benefiting from using the Jolly Trolley. After a fortnight's holiday over Christmas I normally worry about what activities our residents have been taking part in and about their wellbeing, but this year I need not have worried. I returned to find everyone enthusing over what a fantastic and busy time they had all had. I couldn’t have expected a better response than we have had.